[Grant Application] CGA#31 - ChainVault

Summary:

ChainVault is building a regulated crypto bank powered by DeFi. Users will be able to earn interest, borrow, and trade on their platform.

Summary of Grant Applicant:

John Clarke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnclarke96

Owen Colegrove
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/owencolegrove/

John and Owen are in Y Combinator’s S21 batch, having received a $125k investment.

Project Details:

The ChainVault savings account will allow users to earn interest on stable coins, making use of the Curve Aave stable pool. Their trading account will connect to Curve’s trading pools to facilitate crypto swapping. The platform will target average crypto holders who are not currently using DeFi, but who may be using centralized lending services such as BlockFi, Nexo, or Celcius.

The team is in the early stage of product development. The co-founders plan to develop their initial product, leveraging social media for user acquisition. They plan to use grant funds to invest in a legal team to help them establish initial jurisdictions for their operations.

Post-Grant Plans:

They plan to raise a seed round within the next year. Funding will be used to hire people to develop and market the product.

Requested Grant Size:

$50k

Relevant Links:

Website: https://www.chainvault.io/
Owen’s Medium: https://owen-colegrove.medium.com/

Several thoughts:

  1. Receiving funds from Curve is a giant vote of confidence that will help these guys raise future funds.

  2. I can’t tell if this is CeFi or DeFi or something else. We’ve got players in each camp, so how does funding these guys help anything? So what if they plan to use the Curve Aave pool? I’m not sure about Nexo or BlockFi, We’ve seen Celsius use various DeFi services too.

  3. This feels like an equity investment. And I can’t help wondering if the Curve community is going to make such an investment, then the DAO or the Curve community should actually receive equity. I have no idea how feasible that is, but would love to know.

It sounds to me what these guys are pitching is a more transparent DeFi back end than these other custodial services, although they seem to also be a custodial service like Nexo, BlockFi etc. My main concern with this one is I’ve had a hard time finding much background about this team. Very little social media presence, and while their resume looks great, it’s not easy to verify. (If the team happens to read this, additional info on your background that I’ve missed here would be appreciated!)

There isn’t currently any intention to use grant funds for equity investment. If that were to ever change, I for one would support airdropping to veCRV, or some other method of benefiting the whole community. But as of now, the policy we’re following is to offer grants as a public good, not for financial gain.